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“Embrace the Suck”

Lauren Sprieser riding a horse

This post was written by one of my favorite Dressage riders, Lauren Sprieser. It’s so important that we riders understand that riding is HARD. It will NEVER be easy, and no matter how much we work for “beauty and lightness” there’s never going to be a horse that doesn’t struggle with *something*, *sometime*. So, I printed this off and posted it in my barn, because this is the best thing I’ve read that clearly communicates the reality of training horses.

Embrace The Suck

by Lauren Sprieser – reprinted with permission from The Chronicle of the Horse

I judged a few schooling shows at the Quantico Marine Base stables when I first arrived in Virginia. While there I chatted with a few of the faithful Marine husbands, at the show to support their wives. I forget how we got on the subject, but one told me that there’s a saying that goes around Marine basic training: “Embrace the suck.” It’s boot camp, preparing you for life as an elite warrior—it’s going to suck. And the sooner you accept that it’s going to suck, the easier things get.

It resonated with me, not just because the idea of that many push-ups makes me blanch, but because the training of young horses up the levels is a little bit the same way. The end result is a glorious thing to behold. But in the training part, there are days that it really, really sucks.

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